Obama’s Prize and Other Thoughts

Fall                                      Waning Blood Moon

See below for big omission**

So Obama got the Peace Prize.  I happen to agree with those who say he got the, “I’m not George Bush.” prize.  Not that that’s a bad thing.  I also agree with those who say that his accomplishments, re: peace, have been underwhelming. Perhaps the prize is prospective.

I am not among those disappointed by Obama’s performance so far, though my reason is general skepticism about the capacity of Presidents to deliver political realities close to my heart.

Specifically, we need universal health coverage with a single payer.  Why?  Oh, c’mon.  Even if you don’t want it for self-interested reasons,  you know why.  We need to pull back from engagement in counter-insurgency warfare.  We don’t know how to conduct these wars without tripping over ourselves.  See Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.  Financial services must get regulation of a type we can and will enforce.  Why?  Again, c’mon. Back to Glass-Steagall at least.

We need sustained and increased funding for higher education since the fate of US prominence in world affairs lies in the realm of technological advancement.  See this article if you disagree.  We also must clean up and shore up Medicare and Social Security.  Again, you already know why.

We also need real and dramatic action vis a vis global warming.  The means are not so important to me though the carbon tax seems to make the most sense.  My only thought about those who disagree with this one is that perhaps they should buy up all that beachfront property.  That would put their money where their mouth is and either they would become fabulously rich or very wet.  Guess which one I think is more probable.

I happen to think, though this is debatable (yes, I really believe the others are not), that a large investment in America’s aging infrastructure is a good idea.

Why are all of these ideas so difficult to realize?  Oh, let me count the whys.  Chief among them is a method of selecting political representatives that got broke long, long ago.  Right up there with this one is the impact of money and interest group politics on the political process after elections.  Another has a corollary in the financial markets:  our cycles of accountability in politics:  2 and 6 years are too short for the magnitude of  these problems.  Thus, solutions experience time-shifting rather than resolution.  And so, ad absurdum.

**Good health may have less to do with our health-care system than you think

I neglected to mention poverty.  The class disparity.  My own recipe here is banks and economic development corporations focused on poor neighborhoods and towns, helping to nurture community-based businesses that provide living wage jobs.  An earned income tax credit–proposed by Richard Nixon–would help, too.

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